One Australian website describes John Richard’s book “But Deliver us from Evil” as a “classic piece of work” in relation to the study of deliverance and freedom from the powers of darkness. I am among those around the world who readily concur with that judgment. All of his many publications are studies in balanced scholarship and practical ministry and should be required reading in every Theological and Bible College.
It was my privilege to meet John and his wife Rosemary in England in 1988. The late Canon Jim Glennon had arranged for me to go to England to visit Crowhurst Healing Centre among other healing centres before I took over from him as the Leader of the Healing Ministry at St Andrew’s Cathedral Sydney. Crowhurst is in East Sussex near the historic town of Battle (Battle of Hastings, 1066). Whilst I was their guest there, Crowhurst celebrated its 60th Anniversary. The celebrations included a Garden Party in the grounds. There was a liberal scattering of bishops, well-known clergy and outstanding lay people of whom I had read in Christian magazines. Most of the people seemed to know a considerable number of fellow guests. Just when I was thinking about how to break into one of the groups, I was approached by two charming people. I was amazed to find that they were John and Rosemary Richards of whom I had read so much previously. I was blessed by their fellowship and doubly blessed by the interest they took in my own ministry as Dean of a country Cathedral in Australia.
Several years later I had the joy of arranging to have John speak at the Wednesday night Healing Service in St Andrew’s Cathedral in Sydney. His ministry was warmly received by the congregation and by all those who met John and Rosemary as they ministered in Sydney. My wife Carole and I witnessed their great joy when we put them on the train in Sydney to begin their trip home to England. Joy? To be leaving Sydney? No, of course not! John loved boats and trains. He had looked forward to one day doing one of the great train journeys in the world, the crossing of the Australian continent by rail. The Indian Pacific Railway links Sydney and Perth (the Pacific and the Indian Oceans) and traverses about 4,350km (2,700 miles). We were so happy for them that they had the opportunity to fulfil that dream. We read later of John’s interest in travelling across the English Channel by small boat in a celebration of the Dunkirk evacuation of 1940.
John, as a minister of the gospel, faithfully strove to fulfil the Biblical injunction, 2Timothy 2:15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. He succeeded. Many ministers around the world can testify to that. We thank God for outstanding leaders like John whom God has used to bring insight and blessing to the lives of thousands of people around the world; very humble men but spiritual giants in God.
Like many others around the globe we will remember Rosemary, Paul and Tracy in our prayers as they mourn the loss of such a wonderful man, whilst praising God for our experience of God’s love through him.
Jim Holbeck. Blog No. 26. Posted on Friday 8th July 2011